My Inspiration . . .

Hello, and welcome to KT Made It, where I share my favorite dinners, desserts and more! I love trying out new recipes, and finding ways to make them healthier & happier on the hips.

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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Green Bean Casserole

This recipe is from one of the people on my "favorite inspirational women" list: The Pioneer Woman. She has some of the most amazing recipes and in my opinion, is a super woman! I've tweaked this recipe just a bit to make it a little healthier.
{ Prep Time: 20 mins / Cook Time: 30 mins / Difficulty: Easy / Yields: 8 servings }

2 lbs fresh green beans
4 slices of bacon, cut into 1/4" pieces
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 whole large onion, chopped
4 Tbsp butter
4 Tbsp all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup half & half
1 1/2 tsp salt, plus more to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
1 (4 oz) jar slice pinentoes, drained (optional)
1 cup panko bread crumbs

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Chop off both ends of green beans, then slice in half if you'd like. Boil a pot of slightly salted water; add green beans and cook for 3 mins. Meanwhile, fill a large bowl with ice water and set aside. With a slotted spoon, remove beans from the boiling water, and immediately plunge into the ice water to stop the cooking process. (This process is called blanching - it helps the veggies retain their vibrant color. Just makes for a prettier dish!). Once the beans are cool, drain them and set them aside.
2. Heat a skillet over medium high heat, then add the bacon pieces. Cook for two mins, then add diced onion and garlic and continue cooking for 4-6 mins, or until bacon is done (but not crisp) and onions are golden brown. Remove from heat and set aside.
3. In another medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Sprinkle flour into pan and whisk immediately to mix with butter. Cook for 1-2 mins, then add milk and half and half. Continue cooking, whisking constantly, while sauce thickens, about 2 mins. Add salt, pepper and cayenne; then add cheddar cheese. Stir while the cheese melts, then turn off heat.
4. Add pimentos to pan (I didn't use pimentos, simply because I didn't have them and was too lazy to go back to the store), then add the bacon/onion mixture. Stir to combine. Pour over green beans and stir gently to combine. Pour into a 8x11" baking dish and top with panko bread crumbs.
5. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 mins. Bread crumbs should be golden brown.

Recipe borrowed from The Pioneer Woman

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